scenes

The invisible car

So you, like me, thought invisible cars (such as the one featured in the James Bond movie ‘Die Another Day’) don’t exist? Well, think again! On a trip to Melbourne, Australia, I spotted this invisible taxi and took a photo before it vanished!

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You didn’t really believe me, did you? Haha! I was going to take a photo of the Flinders Street train station when my camera for some reason decided to take multiple ‘bursts’, creating this strange effect as the taxi passed by. A failed photo but the effect certainly is intriguing. :-)

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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 Oceania No Comments

Colourful boats in Marsaxlokk

Marsaxlokk is a small fishing village situated at the southern end of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. Its harbour is full of colourful fishing boats, making it a favourite photo opportunity for visitors.

Read more about my trip to Malta at: “Impressions of Malta“.

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Friday, February 14th, 2014 Europe No Comments

Snow sculptures in Lapland

The town of Ylläs in Finnish Lapland is located about 200km north of the Arctic Circle and is a popular winter destination for the Finnish people. With its fells, lakes and expansive forests, there’s nature in abundance and a host of winter activities to keep anyone busy! I went snow-shoeing, husky-sledding, sat in a sauna gondola (!!), slept in an icy bed, floated in a frozen lake and even saw the northern lights! In the town centre, big blocks of snow are carved into beautiful sculptures depicting typical tales from Lapland. Blank blocks are left for the kids to carve their own pictures and scenes.

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Friday, January 31st, 2014 Europe No Comments

Christmas in Tarrington

Tarrington is a small community in the Australian state of Victoria, a few hours’ drive west of Melbourne (see map). It’s a beautiful region with green rolling hills, gum tree forests and lakes. Farming (especially sheep) is the mainstay of the local economy but there are also a number of wineries (Tarrington lies in the heart of the Henty Wine Region). Many travellers (especially those driving from Melbourne to Adelaide) stop in this region to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and indulge in the local cuisine and wines. However, Tarrington has one other attraction that is making more visitors stop: its annual Christmas decorations! The locals use bales of hay to create quirky Christmas decorations which are placed outside their homes or farms. On my recent visit to the region, I spotted many of these – there were koalas, kangaroos, cartoon and more traditional Christmas characters all made of bales of hay! Bus-loads of visitors stop to have their pictures taken at these decorations. My favourite was this Super Santa!

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Super Santa!

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Friday, December 20th, 2013 Oceania No Comments

The kids of Masiphumelele

Masiphumelele is a township near Cape Town that is home to more than 45,000 people. Unemployment is strife and living conditions are poor but the kids, with their big smiles, boundless energy, enthusiasm and curiosity, are a beacon of hope.

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The kids of Masiphumelele

Words of wisdom on the wall of the library.

Words of wisdom and hope on the wall of the library.

Inside the Masiphumelele library.

Inside the Masiphumelele library.

Melvin @traveldudes poses with the kids.

Melvin @traveldudes poses with the kids at the library.

The kids at the creche sang and danced for us.

The kids at the creche sang and danced for us.

Cycling around the township and speaking with the locals, I learned about the efforts of the government, in partnership with non-profits and residents to alleviate poverty in this community. New housing and schools are being built, sewage is being improved, and the library, where kids come to play, read and take classes in English and computers, is a busy place. Wherever we went, we were surrounded by kids who jumped on our bikes and chatted excitedly with us – their enthusiasm and joy was infectious. The bike tour through the township, organised by AWOL tours, was an inspiring lesson in empowerment and grit, an experience that truly humbled me.

 

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Friday, September 6th, 2013 Africa No Comments

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